IHSA Hunt Seat
I was wondering if anyone here knows about competing on an IHSA team in college? What do you do when you tryout? What are the different classes/levels?
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I just finished my 4 years of IHSA riding for Kentucky. All schools are going to be different about the try out process. For example, my school never had to do actual try outs, we had more "placement try outs" so the coach could see you ride and figure out which division to put you in after evaluating your riding/ rider evaluation forms. Last year and this year however they had to have actual try outs because too many people were interested in the team.
IHSA divisions are as follows:
Novice Fences (2'3'' - 2'9'')
Intermediate Fences (2'6'' - 3')
Open Fences (2'9'' - 3'3'')
Your school is categorized into regions (which you will compete within for the season), and zones (you will compete with the top school in each region at Zones before going to nationals, which the top 2 teams in each zone go to nationals) It is all equitation based. The host school provides the horses, tack, etc, and you randomly draw a horse to ride (in our region, we use a bingo ball system but other regions do it differently). You do not get a warm up or any practice. You get to get on and adjust your stirrups and that is it.
Every placing (1st - 6th) is awarded a point value (7 points for first, 5 points for second, 4 points for third, etc.). You ride for individual points and your coach will pick a point rider for ever division to have their points count towards the team for the day (this is how your school earns points). When you point out of your division (36 points, except the open, then it is 28 points because your points start over every year) you qualify for Regionals. A first or second at Regionals qualifies you for Zones, and a first or second at Zones gets you to Nationals.
There is so much to say about IHSA. Personally, I loved it and I think it has improved my riding drastically. Lots of big time international riders did IHSA in their college years, like Beezie Madden (Cachione Cup winner too). Here is the website:
Our divisions were Beginner (walk/trot), Intermediate, Novice, Advanced, and Open/Reining. But my school only did stock seat.
What you do for tryouts really depends on your coach. Ours did a brief evaluation where we had to walk, trot and canter asking for the right lead then the wrong lead.
countercanter-Thank you so much! This really helped me. However, I do have one question-what's the difference between the walk-trot-canter classes and the flat classes?
Based on those divisions, where do you think I would fit in? I've been riding and around horses for 10+ years, have been riding hunt seat for 3 1/2 years. I took hunt seat lessons for about 1 1/2-2 years, quit, took them with someone else, and I'm going to be getting back into it soon but I haven't had a lesson since this past spring. (I got a new horse last October and I wanted to get going with him before I took lessons on him.) I've shown 9 times (small shows). Can w/t/c well, have jumped no more than about a foot and a half.
In the WT and WTC divisions you don't jump. They are divisions, if you are in Novice, you will be in Novice until you point out. And you can point out of the flat and not the jumping, they don't go hand in hand. For example, I started off Intermediate, and in my second year, I pointed out of Intermediate flat in to the Open flat, but I still jumped Intermediate. Where you are placed has a lot to do with your show record (at rated shows) and with where your coach thinks you will work best. A lot of people go into it wanting to be in the highest division possible, but end up screwing themselves because they get stuck there and can't progress. It is going to be different with every school and every coach. From what you are telling me and my IHSA experience, a coach would probably want to place you in the Advanced WT division, not because they think you can't ride well, but because you would be solid and reliable in that division and would be able to secure points for the team easily. Then you would have an opportunity to really move up in the levels and qualify for regionals/zones/nationals throughout your 4 years with the IHSA.
I just noticed you are from Kentucky (at least that is what it says under your picture). Are you thinking about one of the KY schools to ride with?
Yes, Murray State.
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So the only divisions you don't jump in are the w t c ones?
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Correct, Walk Trot and Walk Trot Canter do not have jumping classes attached to them. And that is cool, I know a couple people that go to Murray. I don't know much about their team however.
Murray State has some schooling shows throughout the year and I've been to one and I'm going to another in November. They also host our area's FFA horsemanship contest; this year will be my third time doing it. The coach is always there and she's seen me ride a couple times, and I'm going to try out for the team, so that may be a good thing. :)
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